Lustration laws, which discharge the influence of old power structures upon entering democracies, are considered most controversial measure of transitional justice. This article suggests that initial examinations of lustrations have often overlooked the tremendous challenges faced by new democracies. It identifies the motives behind the approval of distinctive lustration law in the Czech Republic and Poland, examines their capacity to meet their objectives, and determines the factors that influence their performance. The comparison of the Czech semi-retributive model with the Polish semi-reconciliatory model suggests the relative success of the former within a few years following its approval. It concludes that a certain lustration model might be significant for democratic consolidation in other transitional countries.
Copyright © 2003 American Bar Foundation
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